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Indianapolis Zoo earns rare accreditation

To earn AZA accreditation zoos must meet rigorous standards in animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education, safety and other areas.
Credit: AP/Michael Conroy
In this Friday, May 6, 2016, photo, a visitor to the Indianapolis Zoo's International Orangutan Center gestures to Katy, one of the orangutans.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Zoo has entered its 40th continuous year having earned a rare accreditation from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA).

Fewer than 10% of all zoos and aquariums in the world meet the standards to earn accreditation from the AZA.

The Columbus Zoo, which was once considered the gold standard when it came to animal welfare and its finances, recently lost its AZA accreditation due to an investigation into the zoo's misuse of funds and Jack Hanna using animals from unaccredited breeders —not animals from the Columbus Zoo — to appear on late-night TV shows.

RELATED: AZA says Columbus Zoo shouldn't be shocked over loss of accreditation

The AZA requires zoos and aquariums to undergo an extensive review and inspection every five years to remain accredited.

“The Association of Zoos and Aquariums only accredits zoos and aquariums that can meet the highest standards for animal care, welfare, conservation and education,” said AZA President and CEO, Dan Ashe. “Indianapolis doesn’t just meet those standards, it exceeds them, and is helping us to continually raise the bar, expand achievement, and elevate our expectations.”

We’ve earned our accreditation through the The Association of Zoos and Aquariums, positioning us among the top 10% of...

Posted by Indianapolis Zoo on Monday, October 25, 2021

The Indianapolis Zoo was the first in the nation to be triple-accredited as a zoo, aquarium and botanical garden. It’s also one of the largest zoos in the U.S. that receives no direct tax support.

The zoo is also one of the state’s largest attractions, hosting up to 1.2 million visitors annually and it's expanding. 

Construction is underway on Kangaroo Crossing, a new exhibit that will feature kangaroos, cockatoos and other Australian species. 

The new kangaroo exhibit will allow people to walk into a large open area without fences or barriers to see kangaroos up close, roaming free.  


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